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Murrysville Council works to get residential areas connected to trail system

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 6:41 p.m.

The majority of Murrysville residents now live within 1 mile of a walking trail, park or reserve, officials said.

Murrysville council Wednesday reviewed a 2012 proposal by the municipal trails committee that recommended that 90 percent of homes be located near parklands or trails.

“If we're not there, we're very close to having most of the residential areas within a mile,” chief administrator Jim Morrison said.

The proposal suggested creating trails connecting each subdivision in the municipality, as well as developing larger trails throughout the municipality.

But not all residents want a trail near their backyard, councilmen Josh Lorenz and Dave Perry said. Perry once lived near Townsend Park and recalled walkers wandering into his yard.

“A lot of residents are going to resist having strangers that close to their property,” Perry said.

Officials plan to instead focus on expanding larger trails, as needed, but will connect two or three smaller trails when the opportunity arises.

Council revisted the trails plan, originally submitted in March 2012 at the request of the comprehensive plan committee. The group had been in favor of developing highly usable trails that would connect across the municipality, Council President Joan Kearns, a member of that committee, said.

Morrison said the public works department has begun putting up signs along several key trail crossings and main bike trail routes.

Any expansion will help improve safety for joggers, bikers and drivers, Lorenz said.

“I don't know anybody that is not in favor of having a good place for the bikers and joggers to go rather than the road,” Lorenz said. “It's certainly safer for them, as well as those who are driving along the roadway.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or

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